European Union chiefs congratulate Meloni on becoming Italian Prime Minister

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday congratulated far-right leader Giorgia Meloni on her appointment as Italy’s prime minister and said she looked forward to “constructive cooperation” with her government.

“Congratulations to Giorgia Meloni on her appointment as Italian Prime Minister, the first woman to hold this post,” von der Leyen tweeted.

“I look forward to constructive cooperation with the new government on the challenges we face together and look forward to that cooperation.”

European Council chief Charles Michel also welcomed Meloni as Italy’s new prime minister and tweeted, “Let’s work together for the benefit of Italy and the EU.”

The congratulations were echoed by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, who tweeted in Italian that “Europe needs Italy”.

Meloni, the 45-year-old leader of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party, was named Italy’s prime minister on Friday, taking over the EU’s third-largest economy.

She named a former president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, as her foreign minister.

Meloni’s coalition wants to renegotiate Italy’s share of an EU post-Covid recovery fund, arguing that the current energy crisis should be taken into account for their disbursement.

But the funds are tied to a series of reforms and analysts say Meloni has limited leeway on this issue.

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